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Why Does Bleeding in the Digestive Tract Happen?

Have you ever experienced bleeding in the digestive tract? Wondering why that happened? While the cause may not be serious, it is important to identify the source of the bleeding to properly diagnose and treat the underlying condition.

The digestive tract consists of the esophagus, stomach, colon, small intestine, anus and rectum. Bleeding may originate from any of these organs.

If the bleeding starts from the esophagus, it may be caused by stomach acid that rises back up through it, resulting in irritation or inflammation. Bleeding in the esophagus may also be caused when abnormally enlarged veins break open.

When bleeding originates from the stomach, it may be caused by any of these gastrointestinal disorders: gastritis, ulcer or infection with H. pylori. With respect to ulcers, cancer and complications from major surgery may have contributed to its development.

As for the lower digestive tract, the causes of bleeding may include anal fissures, hemorrhoids, intestinal infection, colon polyps, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Colon polyps are abnormal growths that can turn into colorectal cancer; both cause bleeding in the digestive tract. Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins near the anus. When these veins rupture, it causes bleeding, and the blood may show up on the toilet paper or in the bowl. Anal fissures, on the other hand, are a painful condition that involves tearing of the lining in the anus.

As for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, bleeding may result from ulcerations with traces of blood appearing in the stool. Rectal bleeding may also result from these inflammatory bowel disorders.

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Welcome to our UpToDate library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

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